Unfiled Tax Returns
Dealing with the IRS can be a real nightmare, especially when you have unfiled tax returns. Let Tax Defense Network make your dream of tax debt freedom a reality.
What Happens If You Have Unfiled Tax Returns?
We get it. Filing tax returns isn’t at the top of anyone’s bucket list. Even celebrities try to get away with not paying their taxes. The problem is that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will eventually catch on. When they do, there can be some costly consequences, such as:
If you fail to file your taxes by the designated deadline (usually April 15), you will be assessed a late filing penalty equal to 5% of the tax due for each month it remains unpaid (capped at 25%). In addition, you will also face a late payment penalty (.5% of your unpaid taxes) every month that you don’t pay. Interest will also accrue on any unpaid taxes. The minimum fine after 60 days is $435 or the tax that you still owe (whichever is smaller). If you are due a refund, however, you won’t be assessed the late payment fees and typically won’t have to pay the late filing penalty either.
Delay of Your Refund
If you have unfiled tax returns from previous years, but file this year, the IRS may delay paying your refund. This happens when the IRS believes that there may be taxes owed for previous tax years. In cases where you consistently file late, the IRS may also delay your refund if it decides to audit your return.
Reduction of Your Refund
The IRS may decide to file a substitute return on your behalf, if you fail to file. When they do, it won’t include any tax credits, deductions, or other tax breaks. This is likely to drastically reduce your tax refund, or worse, eliminate it all together.
Forfeiture of Your Refund
Generally, you have three years to file your late tax returns. If you miss that window, you’ll forfeit any refund you are due.
Refusing to file a tax return is considered a crime. You can face up to a year in prison for each year you refuse to file your tax return (up to 5 years).
There are many reasons why people do not file their tax returns. In most cases, it’s because they are unable to pay their taxes. The IRS, however, is much more lenient with those who owe taxes versus those who fail to file. If you have unfiled tax returns, contact Tax Defense Network today. We can help you file past returns and find affordable solutions for dealing with your tax debt.
How to Fix Your Unfiled Tax Returns
If you have unfiled tax returns from previous years. or believe that you will not be able to meet the tax filing deadline this year, the good news is that you still have options.
Filing Extension Request
If you won’t be able to file this year’s taxes on time, you may request a filing extension. Although this gives you more time to submit your return, any taxes due will still need to be paid by the original tax deadline. Applying for an IRS payment plan can help, if you are unable to pay in full.
When the IRS files a substitute for return (SFR) due to an unfiled tax return, you can file a late return to replace it. This is called SFR reconsideration.
You may be eligible to have your filing and payment penalties waived through a first-time penalty abatement request. Another option is relief due to reasonable cause. This typically is available if you’ve experienced unforeseen circumstances that prevented you from filing on time. If approved, the penalties and fees will be waived.
You may be able to request a payment extension or obtain an installment agreement that allows you to pay your back taxes over time.
Offer in Compromise
If you are unable to make any payments on your tax debt, the IRS may settle for a smaller amount through an Offer in Compromise.
If any of this seems confusing, don’t stress. You don’t have to face the IRS alone. The tax professionals at Tax Defense Network can help you with submitting and/or correcting your unfiled tax returns. Contact us today for a free consultation.